Freedom on the Fourth Rally. Why?

Andy Horning and Dave Bond were on the show this morning. They explained why there will be a rally tomorrow at 10 AM at the Governor’s Mansion. They explained why people are so upset with our government, and what we can do to change it. You can listen below, or read this from Andy’s blog:

It may rain. This is Indiana, after all. But don’t doubt that I’ll be driving all the way from Freedom, Indiana to be at the Governor’s Mansion on North Meridian just north of 46th Street at 10am. I’m bringing my family and a box of Horning For Governor T-shirts.

No, this rally isn’t about my candidacy. It’s about you and your choices.

Let’s be clear on this: You cannot delegate your life to politicians. You have choices to make. You tried letting politicians handle the “Property Tax Reform” issue, and look at what happened. Political spending is up, taxes are up, prices are up, and you are still, in the minds of politicians, serfs.

If you want change right here, right now, you have to vote for it. There is no shortcut, and no other way. You must change what you’ve been doing if you want a different result.

What other choice is there?

Well, I suppose you can send me money J

Anyway, I’ll be there tomorrow. I know lots of others will be there too. I’m not going to say very much, since over the last fifteen years, I’ve already said what I have to say. And, I am happy to report, reinforcements are here at last, fighting the same fight.

So others will speak, and you can speak out too.

I think we’re finally coming to a consensus.

The priced of oil by itself is not the issue. Tax policy isn’t the issue. Public funding to the Colts or mall builders or foreign companies isn’t the issue. Illegal immigration isn’t the issue. Rising crime and poverty and imprisonment and loss of homes aren’t the core issues either. They’re all just symptoms.

The problem, the disease, the issue at hand and the heart of the matter is ungoverned government. Power without limits. Anarchy in an $800 suit.

And it’s time we put a leash on that monster.

Join us. What better way could there be to honor the sacrifices of our forefathers?

More Democratic Lunacy…

From the Failed Policies of the Past File:

Mike O’Connor may step down later this summer as Marion County Democratic Chairman. His replacement? Ed Treacy!

Obama laid out his economic plan for the Wall Street Journal:

“Sen. Obama cited new economic forces to explain what appears like a return to an older-style big-government Democratic platform skeptical of market forces. “Globalization and technology and automation all weaken the position of workers,” he said, and a strong government hand is needed to assure that wealth is distributed more equitably.”

This sounds familiar… Hmmm… Where have I heard this before?

“Many of you are well enough off that…the tax cuts may have helped you. We’re saying that for America to get back on track, we’re probably going to cut that short and not give it to you. We’re going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good” – Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton

And maybe a few other political thinkers… I’ll let you look those up.

From the CHANGE!ing my mind file:

Obama to Break Promise, Opt Out of Public Financing for General Election. Only Obama could be a normal politician and go back on a promise, all while making it seem like a great moral victory.

From the “Is this from the Onion?” File:

Obama’s ‘Key’ Foreign Policy Adviser: “Winnie the Pooh seems to me to be a fundamental text on national security”:

“Richard Danzig, who served as Navy Secretary under President Clinton and is tipped to become National Security Adviser in an Obama White House, told a major foreign policy conference in Washington that the future of US strategy in the war on terrorism should follow a lesson from the pages of Winnie the Pooh, which can be shortened to: if it is causing you too much pain, try something else.

Mr Danzig told the Centre for New American Security: “Winnie the Pooh seems to me to be a fundamental text on national security.”

He spelt out how American troops, spies and anti-terrorist officials could learn key lessons by understanding the desire of terrorists to emulate superheroes like Luke Skywalker, and the lust for violence of violent football fans.”

There is a lot in that statement that we can understand about an Obama administration.

Obama’s Adviser List Shows Little CHANGE!

The main theme of the Obama campaign is CHANGE!. America can cast off the “failed policies of the past” and finally prosper thanks to the savior of the American economy, military, and eventually, the entire planet.

Let’s ponder the phrase “failed policies of the past.” Democrats have had a heavy hand at those failed policies. They’ve been in control of one or both branches of Congress consistently the last 20 years. They had 8 years in the White House with Clinton.

But I bet by CHANGE!, Obama means he is going to bring in an entirely new crew to Washington. He will cast off the failed policy makers of both parties. Anyone who has been in Washington the last 20 years will be out of luck in the new Obama regime, Republican OR Democrat.

Well, let’s take a look at his list of advisers to his campaign. This is from the Washington Post October, 2007. If they weren’t in the Clinton Administration, then they worked for a Washington-based think-tank! A more detailed list from the Council on Foreign Relations can be found here. Not much different there. But you’ll notice his main economic adviser is the same as John Kerry’s in 2004…

Here is the list:

Former Amb. Jeffrey Bader, President Clinton’s National Security Council Asia specialist and now head of Brookings’s China center, national security adviser

Mark Brzezinski, President Clinton’s National Security Council Southeast Europe specialist and now a partner at law firm McGuireWoods, national security adviser

Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter’s national security adviser and now a Center for Strategic and International Studies counselor and trustee and frequent guest on PBS’s NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, foreign policy adviser

Richard A. Clarke, President Clinton and President George W. Bush’s counterterrorism czar and now head of Good Harbor Consulting and an ABC News contributor, sometimes Obama adviser

Gregory B. Craig, State Department director of policy planning under President Clinton and now a partner at law firm Williams & Connolly, foreign policy adviser

Roger W. Cressey, former National Security Council counterterrorism staffer and now Good Harbor Consulting president and NBC News consultant, has advised Obama but says not exclusive

Ivo H. Daalder, National Security Council director for European affairs during President Clinton’s administration and now a Brookings senior fellow, foreign policy adviser

Richard Danzig, President Clinton’s Navy secretary and now a Center for Strategic and International Analysis fellow, national security adviser

Philip H. Gordon, President Clinton’s National Security Council staffer for Europe and now a Brookings senior fellow, national security adviser

Maj. Gen. J. (Jonathan) Scott Gration, a 32-year Air Force veteran and now CEO of Africa anti-poverty effort Millennium Villages, national security adviser and surrogate

Lawrence J. Korb, assistant secretary of defense from 1981-1985 and now a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, informal foreign policy adviser

W. Anthony Lake, President Clinton’s national security adviser and now a professor at Georgetown’s school of foreign service, foreign policy adviser

James M. Ludes, former defense and foreign policy adviser to Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., and now executive director of the American Security Project, national security adviser

Robert Malley, President Clinton’s Middle East envoy and now International Crisis Group’s Middle East and North Africa program director, national security adviser

Gen. Merrill A. (“Tony”) McPeak, former Air Force chief of staff and now a business consultant, national security adviser

Denis McDonough, Center for American Progress senior fellow and former policy adviser to then-Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle, foreign policy coordinator

Samantha Power, Harvard-based human rights scholar and Pulitzer Prize winning writer, foreign policy adviser

Susan E. Rice, President Clinton’s Africa specialist at the State Department and National Security Council and now a Brookings senior fellow, foreign policy adviser

Bruce O. Riedel, former CIA officer and National Security Council staffer for Near East and Asian affairs and now a Brookings senior fellow, national security adviser

Dennis B. Ross, President Clinton’s Middle East negotiator and now a Washington Institute for Near East Policy fellow, Middle East adviser

Sarah Sewall, deputy assistant secretary of defense for peacekeeping and humanitarian assistance during President Clinton’s administration and now director of Harvard’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, national security adviser

Daniel B. Shapiro, National Security Council director for legislative affairs during President Clinton’s administration and now a lobbyist with Timmons & Company, Middle East adviser

Mona Sutphen, former aide to President Clinton’s National Security adviser Samuel R. Berger and to United Nations ambassador Bill Richardson and now managing director of business consultancy Stonebridge, national security adviser

CHANGE! or failed policies of the past?

Tim Russert and the Decline of Journalism

The passing of Tim Russert is a sad event in American Government. The media’s job is to challenge politicians on their words. No one does that better then Tim Russert. In fact, few do what Russert did. We are entering a dangerous age of journalism, and therefore, politics and government.

The pace of media has quickened. I am in radio, so you’d think that all I’d need to do is confer with sources and read as much as possible to prepare for the show. But as we enter this age, I need to write blogs, post podcasts, record and edit video. They all have to be different, and the content needs to be fresh. All of this takes time. It takes time to create, organize and promote YouTube, MySpace, and Facebook pages. It takes time to map things out, write out bits, record and edit them. The uploading takes forever.  But it all is necessary because other news outlets do it. You have to compete to remain relevant.

There are less people to do these things, because the media business sucks. A reporter, radio personality, or TV producer has more and more to do. As a result of all of this, the more time a media person spends on the content delivery, the more watered down the content becomes.  The pay is shrinking, so the quality of person behind the reports is lessened.

Today’s media will have less time to prepare for interviews. There are fewer reporters with less time to ask hard questions.

Because of the large amount of work to do, and the amount of information to process, many members of the media choose the angle of the story based on their conversations with the other members of the media, not the subject of the story. That is why you hear the same story angle in almost every major media’s (TV, Newspaper, Radio) report. The reporters all fish for a good sound bite. Some members of the local media don’t like that Abdul and I play the entire press conference. Guess Why? It exposes the lack of tough questions, and shows the fishing they do.

The subject (Politician, Movie Star, Sports Figure) are happy to oblige because they want to get on with their life. They don‘t need to prepare for any sort of tough question, because the reporters will all ask the same thing. They just need different versions of the sound bite. If they flip-flop, who cares! The reporters won’t notice, and the listener/reader/viewer is too busy to care.

So you turn to blogs and other forms of “new media” for a different point of view. They are advocates for their cause, and tailor their information to the message.

In fact, Advocacy Journalism will start to dominate the old media because it’s different. There is something that resembles humanity in their reporting. It doesn’t insult the listener/reader/viewer’s intelligence.

I’ll let you comment on the end result of all of this. (Actually, aren’t we seeing it? Isn’t our government dramatically failing us?)

Tim Russert was loved because he was a human being. He didn’t insult the viewer’s intelligence. He was prepared. He was everything a journalist should be, and something modern media should aspire to be.

My Thoughts on GOP Shenanigans

Ronald Reagan did not believe in third parties. He believed that a person should choose a party that most closely identifies with a person’s beliefs and values. For myself, that is the Republicans. But what happens when a party loses its way? The Republican sins of big government are too numerous to mention for the last eight years. The largest sin is hypocrisy. Because while they commit their sins, they admonish and preach.

Ths occurs in two ways:

1. Larry Craig, Mark Foley, and David Vitter. Enough said.

2. “We are the party of limited government.” Then they vote on every spending bill they possibly can. Bush did not veto a bill until it was time to protect the unborn.

Then came Ron Paul. A person who walks the walk in addition to talking the talk. But because he opposes the war, he is considered a radical and his supporters kooks. But many Classic Liberals, Libertarians, and thinking Conservatives flocked to his message. They are hungry for their party to actually do what it says.

Freedom is the buzz word of the Bush administration and the current Republican Party.

But try to open debate on the party platform or the party talking points, and you are immediately shut down. Try to vote for a candidate that is not the party’s chosen candidate, and they will remove you ability to make that choice. Delegate status removed. Party Chairmen replaced. Rules illegally changed.


So what is a grassroots or regular member of a party supposed to do when their party loses its way? There are a couple of things they can do. A member of a party is punish it by sitting out elections. Large-Scale losses in a party cause a purging of the establishment. When John Kerry lost big in 2004, many of the Clinonistas were tossed out of the DNC. They were replaced by the more radical Howard Dean section of the party.

Or they can switch to a third-party. To you disillusioned Republicans, take a look at the Libertarians. There are more of us moving to a party that actually will practice what it preaches. Third-Parties aren’t as much fun as the big two. There is not as much free pizza, the signs are not as flashy, and the T-Shirts aren’t as nice. But maybe democracy and good government are not about those things.

P.S. The Democrats have the same shenanigans going on.

How the GOP kept the Pauliacs Quiet on Monday

I’ve been sent an account that sheds some light on a few different issues at the Republican Convention this past Monday. First, the changing of the delegate election rules to keep Ron Paul sleepers from being delegates to the National Convention. The other was why Greg Zoeller was chosen over Jon Costas. I will post a second post with my thoughts.

This is from a Republican Delegate from South Bend named Eric Rowe:

I was one of around 400 conservative Republicans who had been involved in the Ron Paul campaign who attended this year’s Indiana Republican primary as a delegate (out of a total of 1900+ in attendance). We went intending to make sure that there was a conservative voice there representing the values of limited government and constitutionalism that Ron Paul champions. We called ourselves The Conservative Republican Statesmen Caucus (hereafter, CRSC), a group which we hope will continue to have a role in Indiana politics.
We began planning for this event months in advance, getting active in and working to prove our value to our county parties, recruiting members, organizing ourselves, and carefully studying the rules of the national and Indiana Republican committees.

One of our goals was to make an honest effort to send members of the CRSC as delegates to the Republican National Convention, where we could continue to deepen our influence in the party. The delegate slots we would have been most likely to fill, if any, would have been as congressional district delegates who would attend as delegates bound by the rules to vote for John McCain, and thus would have no potential to cause any trouble to the nomination process. The only way any of our group would have been able to go in that capacity would have been by winning a majority vote in our district caucuses, where we were outnumbered more than 3 to 1. Despite all of this, the leaders of our state GOP took deliberate steps to make sure we did not have a role in our caucuses other than as yes men for them, and they broke their own party rules to do so.

According to rule 15(e)(1) of the Republican National Committee, every state party was required to adopt their procedure for selecting delegates to the Republican National Convention by the 2nd Tuesday of last September (see here: ). The rules for the state party of Indiana have been available on their official website, at least since I began to inquire into this whole process months ago. They always said that nominations for delegates to the national convention would be accepted from the floor of our caucuses and that the meetings would follow Robert’s Rules of Order. That is until the day before our state convention, where we found a revised set of rules where the former ones had been. According to the website, the revisions to the rules were made on May 30th, 3 days before our convention, and long after the national party’s required deadline for adopting procedures for delegate selection (see esp. the note stating the day of the revisions and rule 9-31 here: The revised rules stated that the district committee would preselect a slate of all the delegates and alternate delegates that they want representing their district at the national convention, and that this entire slate would be elected by a simple up or down vote in the district caucus without nominations from the floor.

We were fortunate to have noticed this illegal change of procedure in time to come up with the appropriate way to address it according to Robert’s Rules. In my district, the 2nd, one of the other members of the CRSC stood up to request a point of information immediately after the speaker asked someone to move that we vote on their slate of delegates. He was going to request that the speaker state for all of the delegates in the room what the basis in the rules was for voting for his pre-selected slate of delegates, and when the rule governing that procedure was adopted. Doing this would ensure that all of the delegates in the room were aware that they were trying to follow a rule they had just cooked up last week. After that information would have been given, I was going to make a point of order stating that the national committee rules required that we follow the procedure that was adopted prior to the second Tuesday of last September. Then another CRSC member was going to move that nominations be accepted from the floor, at which point in time we hoped that enough of the delegates present would agree with us that the original rules should be followed that the majority would vote along with us on that motion. Had that happened, there were two CRSC members whom we were planning to nominate. Speaking only for myself, I intended to vote for one of those two individuals, an older gentleman with years of active participation in the party whose politeness is only surpassed by his convictions, and I intended not to vote for the other one. Quite frankly, I have my doubts that either one of them would have won, but I see no reason that they shouldn’t have been given a chance.

As it happened, when the CRSC member stood up for a point of information, even though he did so prior to the motion for a vote on the anointed slate, and even though we all saw and heard him, the speaker flat out ignored him (breaking Robert’s Rules, which our state party rules claim he was obligated to follow) and moved on with the vote. He did this very quickly, reading a pre-written script, calling on a pre-chosen person to make the motion, then a pre-chosen person to second it, and then a vote, at which time the county chairs (including mine), obviously in on this whole scheme, all instructed all of us that we were supposed to stand up and vote yes along with them. Needless to say, the great majority did as they were told, even though many looked confused and at the time of the vote didn’t even know what they were voting on. Immediately after that I rose to make the point of information that the other CRSC member had unsuccessfully attempted. When I did this, my county chair turned around and told me to sit down, which I did not do until I had a chance to ask for my point of information. This was futile. The vote had already been cast, and they were not required to answer the question, since it pertained to a motion already passed. Needless to say, since they were not obligated to answer the question, they didn’t. I only take slight consolation in knowing that by doing that I allowed the other delegates to see that we were being railroaded. Several of the older ladies sitting next to me, although they were not part of the CRSC became disgusted at what they saw. After the meeting another older lady, one who had previously been our county chair for years, approached me to apologize profusely for behavior on the part of our district committee that she said made her ashamed. I am hoping that the CRSC can count some of those people who witnessed that as our friends as we continue to do our part in trying to purge the GOP of dishonesty, hypocrisy, and Marxism.

From what little debriefing I was able to do between then and now, I believe that essentially the same thing happened in all 9 of Indiana’s congressional district caucuses.

Those caucuses occupied Monday morning. In the afternoon was our general session, in which we voted up or down on a pre-written state party platform and for the unopposed nominees for various offices. Since the platform was essentially a list of big government solutions to a series of problems, combined with boasts about previous Republican achievements in increasing the size and scope of government, a large part of the CRSC (though not more than half, from what I could tell) voted against it, and were overwhelmingly defeated.

There was only one contested race in the general session, the race for the Republican nominee for Attorney General. One option, John Costas, was a tall, good looking, youthful, progressive (to use Governor Daniels’ label for him) mayor, who plays guitar in a rock band, who is gifted at answering questions without really answering them, who had proudly brought about one of the state’s toughest laws banning smoking in privately owned establishments, and who used the authority granted by the Kelo v. New London ruling to purchase a shopping center from its owner at less than a previous offer just to sell it to another owner to continue as a shopping center. If you fork out the money to buy a piece of property in the city where he’s mayor, your name may be on the title, but he considers himself its owner. Costas had the overwhelming majority of endorsements from party leaders, who saw him as someone possessing the Clintonesque qualities that they believed would play well in the general election. There’s also a widely held belief that Governor Daniels was grooming Costas to be his replacement.

The other candidate was Greg Zoeller, current deputy AG, a genuine conservative, who opposes smoking bans and disagrees with the Kelo ruling. He’s kind of short, gray haired, and not a fancy speaker. His only major endorsement was from the current AG, based not on any political strategy, but on his estimate that Zoeller, a man whose qualities he knows intimately, would excel at being AG, a job whose demands he knows intimately. Of all the Republican leaders I dealt with at or leading up to the convention, Zoeller was the only one who treated the CRSC respectfully. He attended a meeting we had the week before the convention, with about 200 of us in attendance, at some risk to his reputation, considering what we now know the party thinks of us, gave a speech and answered any questions we had. He wasn’t eloquent or showy. But he was knowledgeable, honest, and respectful. Congruent with the name of our caucus, he’s a statesman, not a politician. I can’t speak for all voters—and I honestly don’t know if maybe the rock star type really does play better in general elections—but when I have a rare chance to vote for someone like Zoeller, I find it refreshing.

As far as I could tell, all of the 400 members of the CRSC voted for Zoeller. Zoeller won 1,061 to 707. So, despite the efforts of the party leadership to make sure we had no impact on anything, we did. Hopefully we will continue to.

Eric Rowe

Why I No Longer Believe in Iraq

Here is a letter from a listener, with my response below. If you have any agreements, disagreements, comments or questions, please email me at I’d love to have an argument with you. 🙂


Thank you for the great work you do and your commentary on the show. I am sure you have your hands full and a guy writing in to semi challenge you on something is the last thing you need. I promise this isn’t Larry.

This morning you mentioned and I apologize for not having the text on this. I believe you were asked if we pulled out of the Middle East or Iraq that “they”, radical Islam would stop hating us. Your answer was yes.

The United States has been hated by this group for our support of Israel. Additionally they don’t like us, as you correctly stated, because of our involvement in their world. However, as long as we support and recognize Israel, as I feel we should, radical Islam will continue to target us even if we removed ourselves 100% from any Arab country. I do agree with you that foreign policy present and past has stirred the pot, could it be or have done better, hind sight is always 20/20.

Unfortunately it is difficult to rationalize with those that are irrational.

Thank you again for the work you do, you make my commute from Greenwood to Carmel enjoyable every morning.

Best Wishes,


My Response:


While I was once firmly for the war, I have changed my views on our foreign policy. I don’t believe that we should have invaded Iraq. We invaded a sovereign for nothing. It was clearly not a war for oil, as the left said. Some Libertarian-minded thinkers see this as an imperialistic war. Other than debt and the loss of our service men and women, what have we really gained? We didn’t get new lands to tax. We aren’t directly in control of their government. They have no resources to trade at the moment. (Oil production can’t really be counted yet.)

This was a sovereign nation not invading another for its land or bounty, but for security. The Bush doctrine is essentially that if we go in to Iraq and confront al Qaeda directly, their “soldiers” will rush to Iraq to fight us there. That is precisely what has happened.

But what the right, and the Bush Administration, seem to think is that the Islamic Radicals will run out of men to send in to fight. There are a billion Muslim men to fight. The Germans ran out of men, and had to invade other countries to supply the army ranks. The terrorists can always recruit more men to fight. And the more involved we become in Middle Eastern affairs, the angrier the populations in those countries become.

They never hated us because of our freedom. They probably don’t hate us because of our culture. They DEFINITELY hate us because we meddle in their governments for our own purposes. And now their hatred is deeper because we are killing their countrymen, their brothers, their sisters, their fathers, and their friends. Yes, our support of Israel puts us on their radar screens, but it is not the reason for 9/11. Bin Laden is angry that we have military bases in Saudi Arabia, the home of Mecca and Medina. He believes our presence in his holy land profane.

The more countries we invade, the worse the terror threat will become. The answer is not more militarism in the Middle East, it is less. They will not stop hating us if we leave the Middle East. It is not a cure-all. But it would stop the inflammation. Radical Islam and terrorism is not a disease America can cure. It will now be with us always. Unfortunately, the more we try to treat this disease, the more aggressive the disease will become.

Thanks for listening,


McClellan, we hardly knew ye!

You’d think Scott McClellan was at Hitler’s birthday party over the weekend. The cries of, “I don’t know this man!” are coming from every Conservative corner. You’d think Scotty clicked his heels, raised his hand, and yelled, “Heil!”

A caller this morning said that this book should never have been able to be written. I then commented that maybe it should be burned! A joke of course, but meant to finish that line of thinking. Every book should be able to be written. It is up to the reader and book buyer to decide whether or not they will read or buy it.

A listener wrote me, and said that I as rude and disrespectful to the caller when I said that throw-away line. Was I wrong? Please comment. I don’t think I was.

Books shouldn’t be written. Lines that expose dangerous thinking should not be spoken. Pundits who disagree should lose their radio and television shows. Dissent should be silenced. This is un-American, and there is nothing wrong with pointing that out.


-Bill O’Reilly had it right tonight: McClellan said Bush mishandled Katrina. Right. Bush used propoganda to sell the Iraq war. Right… Scooter and Turd Blossom conspired over the Valerie Plame case. Forgive me if I am bored. No big story here.

– Here are the story lines in the McClellan story:

On the left – The biggest liar in the administration after Bush, Rove and Cheney was McClellan. Now he is a great truth teller.

On the right – This is not the faithful soldier we knew, so it has to be that the publisher wrote it. They found McClellan, seduced him with 30 pieces of silver, and he put his name on it.

Either way, this is a dangerous man that should not be listened to.

I take the O’Reilly approach. There is not much of a story here.

Spot On! Dying Republicans…

Peggy Noonan on the dying GOP:

They are also – Hill leaders, lobbyists, party speakers – successful, well-connected, busy and rich. They never guessed, back in ‘86, how government would pay off! They didn’t know they’d stay! They came to make a difference and wound up with their butts in the butter. But affluence detaches, and in time skews thinking. It gives you the illusion you’re safe, and that everyone else is. A party can lose its gut this way.
Many are ambivalent, deep inside, about the decisions made the past seven years in the White House. But they’ve publicly supported it so long they think they … support it. They get confused. Late at night they toss and turn in the antique mahogany sleigh bed in the carpeted house in McLean and try to remember what it is they really do think, and what those thoughts imply.
And those are the bright ones. The rest are in Perpetual 1980: We have the country, the troops will rally in the fall.
“This was a real wakeup call for us,” someone named Robert M. Duncan, who is chairman of the Republican National Committee, told the New York Times. This was after Mississippi. “We can’t let the Democrats take our issues.” And those issues would be? “We can’t let them pretend to be conservatives,” he continued. Why not? Republicans pretend to be conservative every day.

Newt, Burton, Term Limits…

Ten Years ago today….

There’s an article from the Washington Post from May 7, 1998, referring to events from May 6, 1998. Newt Gingrich calls Dan Burton an embarrassment:

”This contrast was evident during the GOP’s closed conference meeting yesterday, when Gingrich apologized to his colleagues for how staffers distributed the tapes on Friday. When Burton shot back that he was not embarrassed, according to members who attended the meeting, Gingrich responded, ‘Then I’m embarrassed for you, I’m embarrassed for myself, and I’m embarrassed for the conference at the circus that went on at your committee.’”

Hopefully the voters of the 5th District will agree with Newt today, even if it is delayed by a decade.

Now, why do I feel this way? There comes a point in time where a politician or leader stops working for reform, and starts working to retain power. Bart Peterson was this way. Julia Carson was this way. Dan Burton is this way. Steve Buyer is this way. And I find this attitude towards the job of Congressman disgraceful. This is special honor. It is not yours. It is ours, and it should be treated with respect.

The Founders of our Country were concerned with Public Servants being disinterested, meaning no other interest than serving the people.

I can stand Republican. I can stand Democrat. I can stand Libertarian, but I can’t stand comfortable and entitled.

Obama versus Hillary – Indy Style

Indiana has the pleasure of actually mattering in this Election year. Earlier in the month, Barack Obama visited Plainfield High School. Hillary Clinton visited Ben Davis High School this past Saturday. WXNT producer Chris Spangle covered both and here are his impressions:

Both gyms are of equal size. Both Schools opened space for overflow. Senator Obama filled the entire gym and the auxillary gym used for overflow two hours before the event. Senator Clinton did not have anyone in the auditorium used for overflow. She did not fill the entire main gym. There were at least 50 seats empty out. I’d estimate that 3,000 showed up for Obama, and 2,000 for Clinton.

Both candidates brought a proportionate amount of Indianapolis’s ethnic make-up. There were members of all races, colors, creeds, and religions at these events. Economically, Obama brought more middle-class and upper-class listeners. Clinton had more working-class and union members.

Crowd Reaction: Both crowds were very enthusiastic for their candidate. Surprisingly, Hillary’s crowd cheered more intensely. Could be the building, but they were louder and more fervent. The crowd leaving Obama’s event was more positive on the Senator, and more upbeat. I heard a mixed reaction from the crowd exiting Clinton’s event. Some were inspired, some were calling B.S.

Message: Obama was more a message of hope and unity. It was meant to inspire. Hillary’s was more intellectual. The speech was mostly that the G.O.P. has left the country a disaster, and asking the crowd to remember how wonderful it was under her husband. The job will be hard, but she is the only one to fix it. Obama was more upbeat, saying that while we have problems, they aren’t anything Americans can’t overcome. I won’t say Clinton wasn’t positive, but I did have a looming sense of doom if I didn’t take her advice and elect her.

Campaign Staff: The Obama event was very structured. Press had to register online the day before. Clinton had open press. Obama had three press agents there greeting the press, helping them set up. They also had student ambassadors to keep the press in their spot, and to assist with questions about the school. The two or three hours that I was there, I didn’t meet one member of the Clinton team. No one introduced themselves or asked if I needed assistance. Now, in fairness, the Clinton Camp is doing a lot of stops in a short amount of time, which needs a lot of logistical support and planning. That could have been why there seemed to be a lack of staff wandering around.

P.S.  Superdelegate Andre Carson spent a few moments with Barack Obama when he visited earlier this month. He also attended Obama’s speech. Congressman Carson was not present at Senator Clinton’s speech.

Please Pay Here

You work at Burger King. It’s pay day Friday. Every two weeks, you earn $500. This BK pays in CASH. No withholding! That doesn’t mean you won’t be paying taxes. As you exit the building, there is a small booth where the IRS will look over your Cash, and take what it needs. Luckily, they have a fancy formula so you won’t get screwed more then the other BK Lounge workers. They need $100 from your pay. Now they hand you back your money, all $400 of it.

If this is how we paid taxes in America, there would be a revolt. But lucky for us, our politicians gave themselves the gift of Whithholding. You can learn more about withholding here:

Pay attention to that pay stub! And make sure your W-4s are in order!

Is Stepfordish a Word?

One of the barometers of a man’s character is his wife. I appreciate all of the Democratic hubbys. Elizabeth Edwards, Michelle Obama, and Bill Clinton all seem to be of strong will and mind. The Republican wives all seem a little crazy. The most disturbing by far is Cindy McCain. Watch her at these rallys, staring at him during those speeches. A hair is never out of place. The make-up is never off. The adoring gaze is never taken off her husband.

But somewhere beneath this too-perfect exterior seems to lurk a woman who is intimidated. She looks like a P.O.M. (Prisoner of Marrige).

Watch for it.

My Interview with MLK III

This is an interview I did in November with the son of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott-King. He looks just like MLK, and it was like speaking to Dr. King himself. (He is the one speaking in the clip where Clinton is sleeping.)

It was one of the coolest things I’ve been able to do in my short life.

Does it matter?

I have a question for you readers… Please leave comments. You can post anonymously, so please let me know what you REALLY think, and what bothers you the MOST. NO P.C. BullS^&T here…

1. Does it matter to you that Barack Obama is black?

2. Does it matter to you that Hillary is a woman?

3. Does it matter that Mitt is a mormon?

4. Does it matter to you that Huckabee is a Baptist minister?

5. Does it matter to you that Giuliani is divorced, has cheated on his wife, and is basically agnostic?

6. Does it matter to you that Michael Bloomberg is Jewish?

7. Does it bother you that John McCain is old?

8. Does it bother you that John Edwards is gay?

Bhutto was a Crook

I found an interesting article at The Atlantic that is definitely worth a look while we canonize Benazir Bhutto. A couple paragraphs are pasted, then the links below:

“Clearly, political assassinations are a bad thing. Equally clearly, political assassinations in a place like Pakistan seem to herald instability, and instability in Pakistan is frightening. That said, I think it’s worth being clear about something — from the perspective of someone who’s never spoken to Benazir Bhutto or any members of her inner circle, it seems like she was a really bad person and a terrible political leader. The main thing she did when in office was steal. A lot. Of money. From her extremely poor country. You have, basically, tens of millions of incredibly poor people in Pakistan. You have shitty infrastructure. You have a shitty school system. And you’re the Prime Minister. What do you do about it? You steal an incredible sum of money, while helping your associates likewise steal an incredible sum of money.

I’m not aware of anything changing for the better in Pakistan when she was running things. And as far as her credentials as a democratic opposition leader, it’s worth noting that she’s not the democratically elected leader who was deposed in Musharraf’s coup — her rival Nawaz Sharif was. Her plan was to use her strong base of support in the US to cajole Musharraf into some kind of power-sharing agreement with her. And if she’d gotten a bigger share of the power, she would have used it to steal more money.”

On Checks and Balances

One of the most wise elements of the American system is the concept of Checks and Balances. Most people only apply this theory to the three branches of government.

But let’s look at it through the paradigm of yesterday’s post:

(Please strip yourself of prejudicial thoughts on the words lobbyist and special interest.) Every person has a special interest. Every person in the United States is currently enjoying a benefit of the United States Government. And most likely a lobbyist, or a representative of a special interest, helped bring you this benefit of the collective passing of the hat. One man’s special interest is another man’s pork barrel spending.

Lobbying is a lucrative business for corporations, guilds, unions, and lawyers. Sometimes, a lot of times, the people get saddled with A LOT of stuff they don’t need to be paying for.

But can you blame a business or person for protecting their interest? Can you blame blame a person or business for trying to get as much “free money” as they can to further their cause? Maybe, Maybe not. You’d probably do the same. You probably benefit in some way from this cycle of grants, loans, and pork barrel spending.

So what benefits do you take away from the Government? What are your special interests? Global Warming? AIDS? Abortion? Gay Marrige? Student Loans? Please comment.

So this brings us to checks and balances. How do the citizenry protect themselves from being forced to pay for other people’s special interest?

PAY ATTENTION! You are the checks and the balance to special interest and the politicians they love.

Start at the smallest level of government. Go to City-Council meetings. Watch Channel 16. Call your local politicians. Figure out the basics of your local city or town. Then move up to the General Assembly and Governor. Then move on the the Senate and Congress.

It’s complicated. It shouldn’t be that way. It should be easy. But it isn’t. They’ve done it to keep the average person from figuring out the scams. But if you ask questions, and if you get to know your representative, you can make a difference.